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Abstract: I argue that the use of a social discount rate to assess the consequences of climate policy is unhelpful and misleading. I consider two lines of justification for discounting: (i) ethical arguments for a ‘pure rate of time preference’ and (ii) economic arguments that take time as a...
Abstract: A common justification offered for unequal pay is that it encourages socially beneficial productivity. G. A. Cohen famously criticizes this argument for not questioning the behaviour and attitudes that make those incentives necessary. I defend the communal status of incentives against...
Abstract: This article surveys the debate over the social discount rate. The focus is on the economics rather than the philosophy literature, but the survey emphasizes foundations in ethical theory rather than highly technical details. I begin by locating the standard approach to discounting...
Abstract: Several areas of welfare economics seek to evaluate states of affairs as a function of interpersonally comparable individual utilities. The aim is to map each state of affairs onto a vector of individual utilities, and then to produce an ordering of these vectors that can be...
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